The Colleges

UC Santa Cruz combines the resources of a world-class public research university with a distinctive undergraduate experience characterized by our college system. Each college is a vibrant living/learning community supported by enrichment courses, advising and academic support, and faculty and staff who organize student activities and sponsor events to enhance the intellectual and social life of the campus. The colleges are committed to fostering a nurturing and academically thriving environment for students of all backgrounds. Each college strives to promote the attributes of a diverse and multicultural community in its own unique way.

In order of founding, the colleges are Cowell, Stevenson, Crown, Merrill, Porter, Kresge, Oakes, Rachel Carson College, College Nine, and John R. Lewis College. Self-contained and architecturally distinct, each college is a relatively small community of 30 to 110 faculty members and between 1,500 and 1,800 students, about half of whom live on campus. Each college has its own housing, as well as academic, social, and educational programming, and each is an integral part of the larger campus. The colleges have their own academic emphases and cultural traditions, although each seeks faculty and students from a variety of disciplines to foster broad intellectual interests. The colleges play a primary role in academic advising and are the center of student life. Students graduate from their college. At the same time, all university academic programs, resources, and student services are open to students of every college.